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Diplock Report

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Citation Edit

Lord Diplock, "The Interception of Communications in Great Britain" (Cmnd 8191) (Mar. 1981) (The Diplock Report).

Overview Edit

Lord Diplock was appointed

To review on a continuing basis the purposes, procedures, conditions and safeguards governing the interception of communications on behalf of the police, HM Customs and Excise, and the Security Service as set out in Cmnd 7873; and to report to the Prime Minister.

While conducting his review of the interception of communications practices, Lord Diplock considered whether the practices were effective to ensure that the following six conditions were observed:

(a) that the public interest which will be served by obtaining the information which it is hoped will result from the interception of communications is of sufficient importance to justify this step;
(b) that the interception applied for offers a reasonable prospect of providing the information sought;
(c) that other methods of obtaining it such as surveillance or the use of informants have been tried and failed or from the nature of the case are not feasible;
(d) that the interception stops as soon as it has ceased to provide information of the kind sought or it has become apparent that it is unlikely to provide it;
(e) that all products of interception not directly relevant to the purpose for which the warrant was granted are speedily destroyed; and
(f) that such material as is directly relevant to that purpose is given no wider circulation than is essential for carrying it out.

Lord Diplock concluded:

from the monitoring of the procedures for the interception of communications that I have been able to undertake up to the present date, that those procedures are working satisfactorily and with the minimum interference with the individual's rights of privacy in the interests of the public weal. I propose to continue to follow the system described in this Report of random checks of applications for issue of warrants on behalf of each of the applicant authorities.

Source Edit

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